Japan’s Yamada Wins 1st Place in U.S. Ballet Contest

Courtesy of LK Studio
Japanese dancer Yuna Yamada

New York (Jiji Press)—Japanese dancer Yuna Yamada won first place on Saturday in the women’s precompetitive age classical division at this year’s Youth America Grand Prix international ballet contest in New York.

“I want to be a dancer influential enough to make the audience smile,” said Yamada, 12, from Sapporo, Hokkaido.

Among other Japanese in the precompetitive age division, which is for dancers aged between 9 and 11 as of Jan. 1, Anne Takahashi, 12, from the city of Saitama, was awarded third place each in the women’s classical and contemporary categories.

Yuto Teranishi, 10, from Nagoya, finished third in the men’s classical category and Kohaku Kihara, 12, from the city of Kyoto, second in the men’s contemporary category.

In the junior division, for those aged between 12 and 14, Japanese dancer Eita Akita, 14, from Minoo, Osaka Prefecture, won third place in the men’s category.

The YAGP provides promising contestants with opportunities to study at ballet schools around the world on scholarships.